Problem

Sense of impermanence

Other Names:
Obsession with contemporaneity
Preoccupation with modernism
Abuse of relevance
Erosion of historical continuity
Loss of awareness of time immemorial
Claim:
Civilization means something more than energy, will and creative power. It is best defined by a sense of permanence. But society is now possessed by a terrible sense of impermanence and hence by an obsessive need to arrest the processes of aging and dying. Contemporaneity is imposed as a criterion of relevance throughout society. Fine arts, religion and education are dismissed as worthless unless considered 'relevant' and 'accessible'. If knowledge, belief and beauty have merit only insofar as they assuage the present, whilst being subject to constant shifts in perception as fashion and material demands dictate, then they must continue to diminish in quality and esteem. Without continuity, tradition, schools of thought and disciplines, respect for the path and faith in the future, pride in the achievements and destiny of the human race, then existence has no purpose other than to serve or render tolerable the exigencies of its brief duration. Modern society has forfeited that natural indifference to time which is the secret of its transcendence and even its mere enjoyment. Pursuit of happiness is increasingly identified with 'spare time', with holidays and retirement.
Counter Claim:
Everything depends. Nothing is always. Everything is sometimes.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
08.03.1997 – 00:00 CET